• Czech Republic,  Travel,  TravelTips

    What My Czech Republic Travel List Looks Like These Days

    And no… I’m not going to call it my Czech list. It’s been interesting to see that different people are coping with this pandemic situation in different ways. Some people are writing and communicating a lot more than usual. Some people prefer not to mention it and have pretty much stopped posting on social media. Everyone’s confused. Nobody knows how to plan anything anymore. I mean, when this headline came out (“Czech borders could be closed as long as two years”) came out earlier last week, many of us were bummed. Upon discussion with a few other people about this terrible two year announcement, most people think that the borders…

  • Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Spring,  Thoughts

    Surviving March, Pt. II: Embracing #MaskLife

    Well, that escalated quickly. From the time I published the my last post on March 11th, the day after the first of our emergency measures (which was the school closure announcement), only ten days ago, the situation in the world has devolved rapidly (I predict ten days from now at the end of the month, we’ll be able to say that once more, sadly). No longer are people even speaking about traveling (and if they are, they shouldn’t be). I have since learned new Czech words necessary to understand for everyday life that I haven’t had to know before, like vláda (governance), nouzový stav (emergency measure), and omezení (restriction). Where…

  • Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Travel,  TravelTips,  Winter

    Surviving March + Thoughts on Traveling “These Days”

    Ahoj, friends. I spent much of February reading the novel, Station Eleven. I didn’t know what it was about at all when I picked it up as it was part of a book club, but man — this one was a doozy! It dealt with the topic of a worldwide influenza pandemic (not a spoiler) and really got me thinking about what I would do if the same situation happened to us now. Every night I would read a little bit before going to bed, wake up and read the news and feel like it was all starting to blur together. The timing of this read was all a bit…

  • Herbalism,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism,  Spring

    Growing a Tiny Garden Anywhere

    I’ve always wanted to grow my own herbs and vegetables… but I don’t truly believe in the term “green thumb”. I think anyone can garden if, and only if they truly care enough about it and try as hard as they can and put in the time to do it well. Just like caring about how the food tastes and looks makes you a better cook almost automatically. If you are patient, have keen attention to detail about what your plants like or don’t like and are proactive, you can garden. Gardening makes us self-sufficient. It is a natural companion for people who love to cook (or who, at least,…

  • czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Teaching

    Czech School Curiosities

    What a month! In the middle of February, it was supposed to have been our half-term break week, but several months ago we agreed to teach most of the week at a primary school waaaay out in the countryside, about an hour from where we live. I mean, we didn’t really have any plans and we have an ambitious travel year ahead, so why not? The wind storm Sabine which ripped through Central Europe made it impossible to start teaching there on Monday as absolutely no trains or buses were leaving the city, but for most of this week we were up on the early train north. Although Alex isn’t…

  • Czech Republic,  Prague,  TravelTips,  Winter

    Valentine’s Day in Prague

    Even though this is my eighth winter in the Czech Republic, I still have never spent Valentine’s Day in Prague before. Valentine’s Day isn’t even the traditional Czech “day of love” (that would be the 1st of May) but you can’t deny that it is certainly has completely caught on! I know it’s a divisive day, with the main criticism that it is too commercialized, but my feeling is that it is whatever you want it to be. And who doesn’t love a chance to go celebrate a day of love and togetherness with someone special? After working (even during our half-term break! More on that in the next post…)…

  • Budějovice,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad,  Thoughts,  Winter

    Keep Smiling

    A conversation occurred this week (which I mentioned in this Instagram post) in which a certain secondary school-aged class of mine, when asked what they liked about České Budějovice could think of almost nothing, but then finally offered 1) The train station is near the bus station. (this is the case in almost every Czech city ever) 2) There are a lot of things and services here. (in comparison to a small village) And that was literally it. No single teenager in my class likes České Budějovice. This is something which I take with a couple grains of salt, of course because one, they’re teenagers and they don’t like anything,…

  • Budějovice,  Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Winter

    A Winter Cafe Day (with JORD)

    Ah, the half-term cafe date. We have a lot (a lottt) of annual traditions, but this one is perhaps the most simple yet satisfying one to inject a bit of magic into an otherwise humdrum winter Friday afternoon. Almost certainly I’ll have the afternoon off, so we’ll head out to a cafe. This time, we headed to Cafe au Chat de Noir, one of my favorites in town. The coffee doesn’t really blow your mind but more importantly: as soon as you step inside, you feel like you’ve been transported to a European cafe at the turn of the 20th century. At a time where hip, modern third-wave coffee bars…

  • Eats,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism,  Recipe

    New Year, New Focus! + Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe

    Hi, friends. I’ve written and re-written this post about three times for no other reason than I wasn’t really able to convey the sort of thing I wanted to, but giving it another go. I hope your New Year has been treating you well so far! The fact that I barely noticed we were past the middle of January means that the month’s been flying, but in a good way. Other winter seasons here in Budejovice have not always been entirely, how to I put this… successful for me. They may have started strong but I fell into some sort of anti-social, hibernatory rut and didn’t resurface in a good…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Yearly Recap

    The Books of 2019

    I know it’s called “the books” of 2019, but I mean merely, that they were books that defining the year for me – I make no big claims here. But now it’s time to take a look at favorite books, disappointing books, reading goals for this year, and generally how everything went. I just barely scraped by my Goodreads goal, just completing my 25 books in 2019. (welp, that went well!) The year before I’d managed over 30, so must’ve got stuck on some slog-reads again, but I feel good about having made it, of course. Rating them an average of 3.8/5, I’d say it was a pretty positive reading…